Anyone can get caught in a bad situation, and sometimes those situations result in legal action that eventually leads to probation. Since this is supervised time in place of actually being in a jail in Colorado, it’s important you make it through probation successfully so you don’t face more serious consequences.
Read and follow all the terms
To complete probation, you have to meet all the conditions that are detailed in your probation terms. It will be tough meeting all of these requirements if you don’t know what they are, so make sure you go through all the conditions you will have to agree to. If you are confused about anything, speak to your lawyer for an explanation.
You will need to honor all terms of your probation to avoid a violation, which means you can’t pick and choose what to do. If you are required to pay restitution to a victim, fines, fees or other legal costs, you have to pay on time and in full. If you are struggling with finances, speak to your attorney and probation officer about what to do. Should you be required to perform community service, make sure you do it. If you were required to find and keep a job, you’ll have to do it, and this could mean working somewhere you’re not happy with for now.
Speak to your probation officer regularly
You will be required to meet with your probation officer regularly, and it is important that you make all of these appointments and always come in on time. If some life changes make it harder for you to handle certain aspects of your probation, you need to tell your probation officer about it right away as they may be able to modify your probation.
If you have any involvement with law enforcement while on probation, let your probation officer know right away. They will find out anyway, and it’s always best to have it come from you, particularly since it will give you a chance to explain what happened.
Keep all your records
Keep records of anything related to the probation in case your officer ever needs to see them or needs proof of something they don’t have in their own records. This includes paystubs (which prove employment), certificates from classes you were required to take, and proof of community service hours logged from the organization you worked with.
Always keep in mind that your probation is a privilege, and it’s much better than spending time in jail. You will be able to see loved ones, work and live a life outside of a room with bars. Deal with your probation officer in a respectful manner at all times, follow all of the probation conditions, and always communicate any issues to your probation officer. In some cases, beyond avoiding prison time, you may be able to petition to have your probation ended early if you are following all the rules.
Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and probation in Colorado.